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Reunited (and it feels so good)…1983 Dean ML Standard


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In summer 1994 I was working at a custom cabinetry shop in Chicago. I’d been living there since the early ‘90s. After my fourth Midwest winter, that was it. Time to drag my raggedy ass back to the Bay. 
 

Before the move I walked into a music store on W. Belmont Ave. Not sure of the location, but it was a few blocks from Western Ave. It was a family business. I can’t recall the name or know if it still exists. On a display shelf behind the counter was an unsold Dean ML. Owner said it had been there since 1983, NOS. I immediately put it on layaway, intent on paying it off when I got settled in SF. 

After a few years I consigned it at Real Guitars. Always wondered where it landed. By the beard of Poseidon, nearly thirty years later it shows up at a local dealers’ website. I met with him last night and we did an equitable trade that made us both happy. Besides some finish checking, the guitar looks barely used. Still has the case keys and warranty card. I got a bit of a lump in my throat when I opened the case. A lot of memories and gigs are wrapped up in this Dean, and I’m so pleased to have it back. 
 

8714478B-ABFF-48B2-844A-1F51F8071A35.webp

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CF702E58-1AB7-4545-8F1E-4C934D1C78DA.webp

 

Edited by RobB
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  • RobB changed the title to Reunited (and it feels so good)…1983 Dean ML Standard
14 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

Nearly 30 years go by and you found it again.  That is cool. 

ML's are cool!

That they are, Steve. I don’t know if the original MLs shipped with 24-fret necks, but this one did. I think the pearl blocks were an upgrade, too. 

Edited by RobB
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33 minutes ago, RobB said:

Before the move I walked into a music store on W. Belmont Ave. Not sure of the location, but it was a few blocks from Western Ave. It was a family business. I can’t recall the name or know if it still exists.

This is killing me. Asking some of the old GC cohorts to see if anyone remembers the name of that place.

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3 minutes ago, kizanski said:

They had that headstock in '83?

Yes. This was appx the time they were building guitars for ZZTop, IIRC. I THINK ‘83 was about the time Dean Zelinsky was being ushered out the door. Maybe ‘85? I’m not certain.

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20 hours ago, MCChris said:

Aaaaaand I think I got it...Andy's Music.

That’s IT! They’re on North Elston now, very near to the Washburn plant that was my first employer in Chicago. 

Edited by RobB
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8 minutes ago, veatch said:

I had an '83 E'lite that had this headstock. Preferred it over the biggun, but I know I'm in the monitory on that. 

Me, too. On MLs, at least, the shrimp fork looks a bit more balanced. I do like the biggins on Vs/Zs, though. 

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4 hours ago, kizanski said:

They had that headstock in '83?

They built several customs for Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill with the shrimpfork in '83. They also built customs for Phil Collen (triple pickup blueburst Z) and Steve Clark (a maroon triple pickup Cadillac) via Billy's initial connection with Dean--those are the guitars in the video for Me and My Wine.   BFG recorded Eliminator in '82 with a Z and ML (primarily the ML) that Dean Zelinsky's crew built him in '82.  Dean then built at least three matching guitar/bass sets for that tour--all with the shrimpfork.  IIRC, they had a red top/blue back pair with block inlays, a white pair with block inlays, the sheepskin covered white pair of video fame, and a year or more later, the sheepskin covered pair with the Walkman TVs embedded in them.  I swear they had at least one other matching pair with the fork; I'm thinking those were yellow and/or had a graphic finish.

I've come to realize that I am one of only eleventeen or so people on the face of the earth that far prefer the shrimpfork to that gaudy-ass-looking reverse vee shape.  But then, I'm neither an influencer nor a standard bearer like BFG.

ETA: Found it.  The oddball Z was yellow with a pinstripe graphic and a Kahler.

ZZ-Top-02.jpg

Edited by Biz Prof
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Congrats on the reunion!

Big headstock or shrimp fork, don’t matter much to me. Which ones had the bigger necks…?

Edited by Travis
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44 minutes ago, Travis said:

Big headstock or shrimp fork, don’t matter much to me. Which ones had the bigger necks…?

This one has the, “soft-V”, with the rounded binding and no nibs. It feels pretty substantial, but is great for riffing (thumb-wrap), and the spine is a good anchor-point for soloing. 

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Congrats. Those old Deans can be great. I was working extra in a small music store in 1986 and it was the only shop in Sweden who sold Deans at the time. I played this blue triple bound,three pickup Cadillac on a daily basis. Just loved that guitar. It cost way out of my league. But If it would show up used now I would buy it on an instant. I just loved it.

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6 hours ago, RobB said:

This one has the, “soft-V”, with the rounded binding and no nibs. It feels pretty substantial, but is great for riffing (thumb-wrap), and the spine is a good anchor-point for soloing. 

That sounds right up my alley!

 

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6 hours ago, RobB said:

This one has the, “soft-V”, with the rounded binding and no nibs. It feels pretty substantial, but is great for riffing (thumb-wrap), and the spine is a good anchor-point for soloing. 

Mine was like that, and it felt perfect.

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17 hours ago, veatch said:

I ain't no BFG, but at least you can't see the guitar in this pic...

Jimmy Howard's lookin good, though. Dern sports bars...  : )

Screenshot_20180313-230021.jpg

Hey, down in the front. We can't see the game!!

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